From dinner parties to corporate conferences, everyone’s talking about B-Corp – but what does it actually mean? Here’s the C&TH guide to all things B-Corp.
What Is A B Corp Certification? (& Why Does It Matter?)
What Does B-Corp Mean?
The B Corp Certification is a legal designation for businesses that show a high level of social and environmental performance. In other words: it’s today’s seal of approval for the brands that are excelling in making a sustainable and ethical impact. From Chloé to Patagonia, from Aesop to Sipsmith – more and more aspirational brands are going B Corp. But it’s not as easy as it looks.
What Does It Mean To Be B-Corp Certified?
To be B-Corp certified, companies must meet social sustainability and environmental performance standards, while being accountable and transparent across the entire company, its product lines and its issue areas. To apply for B-Corp certification, a business must answer 300 questions that span labour, environmental impact, ethics and governance, their social initiatives and what their goalposts are for the next few years.
Aesop is a B Corp Certified beauty brand. Image courtesy of Aesop.
Then, once a brand’s completed the questions (plus backed it up with supporting evidence), B Lab (that’s B Corp’s non-profit offshoot) will scrutinise, assess and give the brand a score out of 200. If a brand reaches 80 or above then they’re B Corp Certified – but any lower and they miss the mark.
How Many Companies Are B-Corp Certified?
There are currently over 6000 Certified B Corporations in more than 80 countries and over 150 industries. Sounds like a lot, but it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the over 100,000 applications, which gives you some estimate of how challenging the assessment is.
But it doesn’t stop there. Even if you’ve passed the 80 mark: your work isn’t over. Your business will be required to report annually using an external third party to show consistent progress towards your social and environmental goals.
Main image: Unsplash